South Carolina had a great night on Tuesday, defeating The Citadel 12-1 to improve to 19-14 (5-7 SEC). The Gamecocks conclude their long road trip this weekend with a series against Arkansas at Baum Stadium.
This is the second weekend in a row that Carolina has faced a top ten team on the road and they’ll be trying to steal a series win to pull themselves out of last place in the SEC East standings. The Gamecocks are one of five teams in the conference with a 5-7 record, and there are only two teams below that group. Meanwhile, Arkansas is one of the clear upper tier SEC teams so far this season and is currently behind only Florida in the overall standings.
|SEC East||SEC West|
|SEC East||SEC West|
|Florida (9-3, .750)||Arkansas (8-4, .667)|
|Georgia (8-4, .667)||Ole Miss (7-5, .583)|
|Vanderbilt (7-5, .583)||LSU (6-6, .500)|
|Missouri (6-6, .500)||Texas A&M (5-7, .417)|
|Kentucky (5-7, .417)||Alabama (5-7, .417)|
|South Carolina (5-7, .417)||Auburn (4-8, .333)|
|Tennessee (5-7, .417)||Mississippi State (4-8, .333)|
The Hogs are 25-9 (8-4 SEC) and coming off of a midweek win over Grambling State. They have series losses to both Florida and Ole Miss, but swept Kentucky and Auburn in conference play. Arkansas has an offense comparable to the one Carolina faced last week in Kentucky and the Hogs are either leading the SEC or behind only the Wildcats in most offensive categories. The Razorbacks have a lot of power and lead the league in homers with 56. Heston Kjerstad (.370/.461/.630) leads the team in home runs with 8 and, along with teammate Carson Shaddy (.364/.458/.657), is among the best hitters in the SEC.
Unfortunately for the Gamecocks the pitching is not a weakness for the Razorbacks like it was last week for Kentucky. Arkansas looks like a complete team that lives up to its top ten ranking, so Carolina will need to have their best weekend of the season to pull off an upset series victory. That’s a tall order for a team that’s still not at full strength due to injuries, but Madison Stokes was back as the DH on Tuesday night, and if he can hit this weekend it should be a huge help for Carolina.
USC vs Arkansas Stats
Kingston changed up Carolina’s pitching rotation for the early weekend series, with freshman RHP Logan Chapman (3.86 ERA, 32 SO, 16 BB) getting his first SEC start of the season. Chapman has been the midweek starter for the Gamecocks since the beginning of the year. Arkansas will start junior RHP Blaine Knight (1.93 ERA, 48 SO, 11 BB).
Junior RHP Adam Hill (4.79 ERA, 55 SO, 23 BB) will start on his usual night, but second in the rotation this week. Junior LHP Kacey Murphy (2.31 ERA, 33 SO, 6 BB) will take the mound for the Razorbacks.
Sophomore RHP Cody Morris (4.04 ERA, 46 SO, 16 BB) will start in the series finale on Saturday. Arkansas will also start a sophomore RHP, Isaiah Campbell (4.03 ERA, 33 SO, 16 BB).
Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Watch: Thursday night’s game will be on TV on SEC Network. The Friday and Saturday games will be available online via SEC Network Plus.
Listen: 107.5 The Game & the Gamecock Radio Network